Should you drown in the Ganga?

This one is short and slightly morbid. Or maybe largely morbid. The only reason I am posting it is because the other post is a tricky one and has been lingering in my drafts for ten days. So I want to get one out just to maintain continuity.

(Forewarning: I’m not in a morbid state of mind; I am just engaging in a philosophical exercise.)

Here goes.

What should be done with your body when you die?

Buried? Cremated? Hung to be pecked by vultures? There’s a bunch of options. You could get into the nitty gritty of it. Where should you be buried? Who should you be buried next to? If you’re cremated, what should be done with your ashes?

The fundamental question remains - what would you like to be done to your body once you die?

Here’s how I answer this. At the offset I recognize that this entire exposition is absolutely unnecessary. But well, can’t keep my brain from braining.

There are two schools of thought -

  • The soul gang
  • The big bang

(Not sorry)

So either you are a soul occupying this physical form. Or this physical form is all there is that makes you you.

If you’re a soul, then when you die your soul escapes from your body. You’re basically renting the body. Maybe next your soul will move into another body. Right? If that’s the case then why bother with what happens to your body? The tenants have moved out. The building can fall to the ground for all they care.

In the other case, assuming this mixbag of hydrocarbons is all that you are, then once you die you cease to exist. Because whatever it is in the physical form that gives you sentience is now out of order. No sentience body is a mix of hydrocarbons equivalent to a log of wood. Does the ice cream care what happens to the machine once it’s fallen out? Nope.

To spell out the obvious: there is no rational reason to worry about what happens to your body when you die.

So why do people care so much about it then? People are irrational. That’s what makes us people. Emotions are irrational.

That’s all. Enjoy your day.


P.S. For no reason at all - Ganga by Rabbi Shergill

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Last modified: Mar 28, 2021